Knowing how to replenish spent energy is as important as burning it efficiently. Imagine you’re a cyclist and invited to participate in the legendary Tour de France bicycle race. Dream come true! This world-famous race is about 3,500 kilometres long, goes across many provinces of France and consists of 21 day-long stages over the course of 23 days. So, you’ll ride about five hours the first day, if you ride fast. Then you’ll ride another five hours the next day, and another five hours the day after, and then another five hours and again and again and on and on. During those 23 days of racing, you’ll need all the energy you can muster and know how to replenish it in a considerable span of time.
Get only two rest days.
Every day you’ll spend five hours biking and then spend the 19 hours between races recovering. No matter how well prepared you for the first day of racing, you need to recover fast and be ready to bike your best the next day. You want your recovery to be as efficient as possible. Actually, it sounds a little more like a recovery race than a bicycle race, but I guess that doesn’t sound as exciting. So how do you recover efficiently after a long bicycle ride or
basically after in intensive cardio workout? Let’s talk about a routine that can help you recover efficiently and avoid lasting fatigue and tired muscles the next day.
The parts of your body that are heavily loaded during a cardio workout are the heart, lungs, muscles, joints, and skin. And, and your ears if you listen to loud music non-stop. Also, what does your body need for a cardio workout? A lot of water and minerals since your body uses them heavily during a workout, and energy! Cardio workouts require a ton of energy. And, technically, oxygen – We inhale up to eight times more air during exercise and while resting.
But I think unless you work out in a coal mine or around noxious fumes, you’ll be fine!
So, your goal is to replenish all these lost nutrients, remove bodily wastes and recover loaded parts of your body as soon as possible.
So what’s the plan?
First, it’s water, probably the most critical element. Rehydrate yourself after exercise – It’s recommended to drink about 150% of water weight you just lost. So, if you lost three pounds of weight during your exercise, pretend you’re a sponge and drink 4.5 pounds of water. You don’t need to force yourself to drink it all immediately, but the sooner you drink it, the
Sooner you’ll hydrate your body back to normal.
Next, the replenishment of minerals lost during the workout – sodium, potassium, zinc, magnesium, chloride, and many others. During exercise, we lose a lot of minerals through sweat.
A good approach is to drink mineral water – it will not only hydrate your body but also provide necessary minerals. If you don’t like mineral water for some reason, You can buy concentrate trace mineral drops and add them to regular water.
Third, take care of your muscles! Right after your workout, while you’re taking a selfie for social media, for example, spend five to ten minutes stretching the muscle groups you just heavily loaded. Stretching helps realign any disorganized fibres in the direction of the tension, it will speed up muscle rehabilitation. Also, you can use a foam roller to relieve muscle tightness, soreness, and inflammation. All this stretching might even up your selfie game and allow you to photograph your sweet muscles from new and exciting angles.
So, for those who play competitive sports or participate in the Tour de France, cooling down your muscles and joints in the cold-icy water for 10-15 minutes might be a good idea. It’s known as cryotherapy. 15 minutes of cryotherapy has shown a great effect on reducing swelling and soreness. An easier option is to do this only for certain parts of your body, like your feet.
Replenishing your spent energy
You lose a lot of calories during a cardio workout, so make sure you have a healthy meal as soon as your body cools down. Include a good amount of protein in this meal- It’s critical for the recovery of your muscles. A cyclist at the Tour de France spent more than 5,000 calories per stage. It’s a lot of calories to replenish, which means a lot of eating. Finally, a good night’s sleep and low-medium intensity activities, like jogging or swimming or just walking, the next day will contribute vastly to your recovery. Also, another great next-day activity is to visit a sauna or steam room. It will help increase blood circulation and flush toxins from your body.
By the way, at the Tour de France cyclists still, ride 2-3 hours on those “rest” days. They call 2-3 hours of biking is a “rest” day! Ok, let’s sum it up. For efficient recovery, drink a lot of water, ideally mineral water, during and after the workout; stretch out right after the workout; for those hardcore athletes and future Tour de France winners, consider cryotherapy; then have a healthy protein-heavy meal and, finally, get good night’s sleep and some low-medium intensity activities the next day.